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Community Power

As you read this, new alliances are forming across the country - relationship-based campaigns that transcend class, race, organizational, regional and traditional party lines. These new partnerships are the seedbeds for effective change at the local level - and for redirecting the new economy towards a pathway of fairness and sustainability.

Justice for Janitors (J4J)

The Justice for Janitors campaign is not the only partnership of its kind - but it is one of the first. Now in its 11th year, the Justice for Janitors campaign, run by the Service Employees International Union, the fastest-growing union in the country, is helping janitors build relationships with each other and with members of their communities to fight for, and win, fair contracts. The bottom line? For the first time, building service workers are getting a fair shake that honors their hard work to build a better future for themselves and their children. Learn more about J4J and community action partnerships by visiting Justice for Janitors.

Issues On The Rise:

  • Living Wage Campaigns--It's not just the lowest-paid workers who have to fight for fairness--it ain't about the minimum wage, it's about a living wage. More than three dozen cities nationwide, including some of our biggest like Los Angeles and Boston, have living wage ordinances. Community activists, religious leaders, labor folks, and the workers who are trying to make ends meet make it happen. For more, see Living Wage Resource Center
  • Smart Growth--We all know our communities are going to continue expanding. The question is, how are we going to manage it? Thousands of average folks are getting involved to make sure their communities and local politicians are thinking on a twenty-year plan, rather than towards the next election. (Community Strategies)
  • Broadband: A brave new world--The recently approved merger of AOL with Time Warner has changed the media landscape forever. But it's only the latest in a series of events that leave us, the public, in a difficult position. Some folks are doing the right thing-standing up to make sure that our airwaves and tax money is used to serve all, and not just benefit old and new media. (People for Better TV)
  • Electricity Deregulation--The electricity deregulation wave is sweeping the country, but if California is any indication, we've got a lot to be worried about. Consumer groups are working with politicians and average citizens to insure that the people's interest, rather than private utility companies get what we deserve, and to make sure that smart energy conservation policies remain a bright option for the future. (Rocky Mountain Institute)
  • Community Technology Centers: Taking on the Digital Divide -- Recognizing the importance of computers now and in the future, CTC's are springing up around the country. Now numbering 450 nationally, CTC's offer free computer and Internet access to anybody, thanks to collaborations with non-profits, government and the companies who produce the technology. (Community Technology Centers Network)

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Some Other Good Links to Capture the Opportunities of Devolution:

Collaborations that Count: Working for Democracy in Devolutionary Times
Center for Policy Alternatives
State Fiscal Analysis Initiative
Center for Living Democracy
Washington Alliance of Technology Workers


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